The Philippine entertainment industry surely is accommodating to non-Filipino aspirants, as reflected by the number of foreign celebrities, who from time-to-time land major roles in a Filipino TV or film production.
Over the years, non-Filipino actors have successfully penetrated the local movie and TV industry, with some of them even landing major roles. The following are movies and TV shows, where a foreign celebrity starred as the or one of the main leads:
Basta’t Kasama Kita.
This 1995 film starred Aga Mulach alongside Miss Universe 1993, the Puerto Rican Dayanara Torres. The film is just one of nearly a dozen full-length features Torres appeared in during her 5-year showbiz pursuit in the Philippines. The film follows a European princess who plotted her escape to the Philippines and fell in love with a jeepney driver, played by Aga Mulach. The film is one of Star Cinema’s biggest-grossing films of that year.
Batanes: Sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan.
This film starred Iza Calzada and the Taiwanese superstar, Ken Chu, who rose to global popularity through the hit TV series, Meteor Garden (2003). The film follows the story of a widower who found an injured bTaiwanese man who was washed ashore in one of the islands of Batanes. She took the stranger home and took care of him, until she developed a romantic liking for him. The film follows the picturesque romance she developed with the Taiwanese. It also explores a woman’s relationship with the ocean.
This Jose Javier Reyes-directed film showcased Dayanara Torres’s impeccable dancing skills. She starred in the film, with Gary Valenciano, and then teen stars Jolina Magdangal, Victor Neri, Roselle Nava, and Jao Mapa. The 1995 film follows the story of two high school teachers who tried to build a dance group against the disapproval of an old-fashioned and conventional school principal.
Kahit Isang Saglit.
Kahit Isang Saglit is an ABS-CBN Drama that aired from September 15 to December 12, 2008. The series was a collaborative effort between ABS-CBN’s Star Creatives and Malaysian-Singaporean production company, Double Vision. The series starred Jericho Rosales and Malaysian actress Carmen Soo. Cristine Reyes and Albert Martinez were also part of the Filipino cast with other Malaysian and Singaporean actors, who got tapped to play various roles in the series.
Kahit Isang Saglit follows Rocky Santillan (Rosales), a PDEA agent. He resolves a case that involves his father’s death. His pursuit led him to Malaysia, where he met Garie (Soo), whom he will also fall in love with, only to find out it was Garie’s father who killed his dad.
Nandito Ako is a short-lived TV series aired by TV5 in 2012. It starred Jasmine Curtis-Smith and American Idol alum David Archuleta.
The debut of the series came on the heels of a heavy promotional campaign for an All-OPM Album Archuleta recorded and released that year. Archuleta, himself, sang the Tagalog theme song of the series, also titled, Nandito Ako.
Manolo en Michelle.
This romantic comedy starred Miss Universe Australia 1993, Michelle Van Eimeren, and OPM icon Ogie Alcasid, who later became a married couple until their separation in 2010. The film is one of at least three movies Eimeren starred in during her showbiz stint in the Philippines.
Syempre Ikaw Lang: Ang Syota Kong Imported.
This romantic comedy film starred comedian Anjo Yllana and the Australian beauty queen Michelle Van Eimeren. The story follows a young Australian woman who escaped to the Philippines from the marriage her family arranged.
The film got released by OctoArts Films in 1995.
Te Amo, Maging Sino Ka Man.
This series was a widely-publicized GMA Network production in the 2000s. It starred Iza Calzado and the Argentine superstar, Segundo Cernadas. The series aired on GMA Network’s Telebabad block from February 2 to September 17, 2004.